Home Remedies For Nail Care

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As with your skin and hair, when your nails look their best, you feel more healthy and attractive. And as is true with both hair and skin care, "less is best" when it comes to the care of your nails. That is, avoid over- manicuring, overpolishing, or working with your nails. Moisturize and protect them, just as you do your skin and hair, to keep them at their best.
The following are some tips for achieving and maintaining healthy, attractive fingernails and toenails:
Home Treatment for Nail Care
Keep your nails and hands well moisturized. Moisturizers containing collagen and vitamin E are especially good for the nails. They are most effective if put on after soaking your nails in warm water and patting dry.
File your nails in one direction only, not back and forth.
a Keep toenails clipped straight across, not curved or pointed, to avoid ingrown toenails. Also, do not clip toenails too short or clip them in at the sides.
Use a fine-textured emery board, not a metal nail file. Metal files are hard on the nails.

Moisturize and gently push back your cuticles. Do not cut them. a Do not manicure your nails too frequently or apply nail products too often.
If you have sensitive skin and nails, look for fragrance-free and formaldehyde-free polishes and non-acetone polish removers.
If you wear polish, let your nails go "bare" for a few days each month to let the air get to them.
Use protective cotton-lined vinyl gloves to wash dishes, work with cleansers, or work in the garden.
Never bite your nails. Do not use them as prying tools.
For healthy nails, be sure to get plenty of quality protein, and take a protein supplement. Eat grains, legumes, oatmeal, nuts, and seeds. Eggs also are a good source of protein, as long as your blood cholesterol levels are not too high.

Avoid refined sugars and simple carbohydrates.

Eat a diet composed of 50 percent fresh fruits and raw vegetables to supply necessary vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Eat foods that are rich in sulfur and silicon, such as broccoli, fish, onions, and sea vegetables. Also include in the diet plenty of foods that are high in biotin, such as brewer's yeast, soy flour, and whole grains.

Drink plenty of quality water and other liquids. Cuts and cracks in the nails may indicate a need for more liquids.

Drink fresh carrot juice daily. This is high in calcium and phosphorus and is very good for strengthening the nails.

Consume citrus fruits, salt, and vinegar in moderation, if at all. Excessive intake of these foods can result in a protein/calcium imbalance that may adversely affect the health of the nails.

Supplement your diet with royal jelly, a good source of essential fatty acids, and spirulina or kelp, which are rich in silica, zinc, and B vitamins, and help to strengthen nails.

For splitting nails and/or hangnails, take 2 tablespoons of brewer's yeast or wheat germ oil daily.

To restore color and texture to brittle, yellowed nails, make a mixture of equal parts of honey, avocado oil, and egg yolk, and add a pinch of salt. Rub the mixture into your nails and cuticles. Leave it on for half an hour, then rinse it off. Repeat this treatment daily. You should begin to see results after about two weeks.

To strengthen the nails, try soaking them in warm olive oil or cider vinegar for ten to twenty minutes daily

Treat your nails gently. Using them to pry, pick, scrape, or perform tasks such as removing staples can damage them.

Keep your nails relatively short. Nails longer than one-quarter inch beyond the fingertip break and bend easily.

Do not cut the cuticles. Uncovering the nails this way is harsh and irritating, and may cause infection. Use baby oil or cream and gently push the cuticles back.

Soak your nails before trimming them. Nails are most likely to split and peel when they are dry. Apply hand cream each morning and evening prevent nails from drying out.

Do not repeatedly immerse your hands in water that contains detergents or chemicals such as bleach or dish soap; this results in split nails. Wear cotton-lined gloves when doing housework such as dishes and laundry or when using furniture polish. This protects your hands and nails against harsh chemicals. Wearing gloves is especially important for people who work in jobs where their hands are exposed to chemicals. Not only does this damage the nails, but it causes the skin surrounding the nail bed to dry out and crack. This can lead to bleeding and can be quite painful.

Do not pull at hangnails. Cut them with sharp clippers or scissors. Keep your hands moisturized to help prevent hangnails.

If you are diabetic, see your health care provider if your cuticles become inflamed, because the infection can spread.

If you wear nail polish, use a base coat underneath it to prevent yellowing.

Use nail polish removers as little as possible. They contain solvents that leach lipids from the nails and make them brittle. These solvents are also potentially highly toxic and can be absorbed through the skin. If you need to use a polish remover, use one that contains acetate instead of acetone.

Never apply artificial nails over your own. They may look nice for a while, but they destroy the underlying nail. The chemicals and glue used are dangerous to the body, and are readily absorbed through the damaged nail and nail bed. The use of artificial nails has also been known to contribute to the development of fungal infection of the fingernails.

Many professional manicure businesses have been cited for not meeting health codes. If you have professional manicures, always insist on sterile instruments or bring your own to ensure they are free from bacteria and disease. Use isopropyl alcohol to sterilize your instruments.

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